Special Materials Recycling

In addition to the materials accepted through single stream recycling, Georgia State Recycling also supports the collection of certain special materials. Special materials recycling is constantly expanding and improving on the Georgia State campus, so check this page regularly for updates. Please email recycle@gsu.edu with questions about specific items not listed.


Our styrofoam densification program is currently only available on the downtown campus. We apologize for any inconvenience.

Georgia State is now the only university in Georgia to have its own Styrofoam densifier as only two other colleges in the nation have their own densifiers.

The Styrofoam densifier crushes and shreds Styrofoam waste into small bits, then heats and melts the waste into a variety of molds. The process densifies the foam to 1/90 of its original size – it would take three tractor trailer loads of loose Styrofoam to create just one 70-pound densified brick. The densification process is safe and cleanly processed with no harmful emissions.

Please note Styrofoam can only be recycled if it is clean and NOT contaminated with food or drink.

Accepted Items

  • Lab-related styrofoam waste
  • Packing material from electronics, glassware and other supplies
  • Styrofoam coolers used for shipping/transporting sensitive organic material

Collection Sites

  • Natural Science Center loading dock
  • Petit Science Center loading dock
  • 75 Piedmont
  • College of Education
  • 25 Park Place
  • 55 Park Place
  • One Park Place

Document Destruction Program:

Our document destruction program is currently only available on the downtown campus. We apologize for any inconvenience.

Benefits of an Insourced Document Destruction Program

  • Lower cost per pickup than outsourced companies (Iron Mountain currently charges $75/pickup)
  • Increases diversion rate for Georgia State as absolutely all shredded material will be recycled
  • Creates a more streamlined process by using Georgia State employees and equipment


  • Departments can request secure bins or service by completing a work request (hyperlink to form).
  • After collection, recycling crew members will transport the locked bins to the recycling center located at the Georgia State Stadium for immediate destruction by the level 3, in-house shredder.
  • Any department members wishing to witness the destruction of their documents can reach out to sustainability@gsu.edu to arrange.
  • All shredded material will be added to the Georgia State single stream recycling compactor
  • A certificate of destruction will be issued, and all monthly bins will be returned at the conclusion of the shredding process.


  • 65-gallon secure bins: $25/bin
  • One time collection: $20
  • Monthly enrollment: $15/pickup

Please note: There will be a surcharge of $100 for requests of two or more collections in one week.


Georgia State accepts alkaline, zinc carbon, button, lithium and rechargeable batteries for recycling through a partnership with Davis Recycling and CHaRM. To order a battery bin for your area, please fill out a recycling work request form.

Electronic Waste:

Electronic waste, or e-waste, refers to electronic devices that have reached the end of their useable life because they are unwanted, obsolete or no longer perform their original function. E-waste is one of the fastest growing waste streams in the country due to the constant cultural demand for smarter and more efficient technologies. Here at Georgia State, any electronics with a cord or a battery are considered e-waste. Examples include:

  • Cell phones
  • Laptops
  • Coffee machines
  • Hair dryers
  • Headphones
  • Cords and cables

Electronic waste recycling bins can be found in the printer or mail room of most campus offices and departments. GSU Recycling is compiling a list of locations that will be posted to this page shortly.

E-waste placed in these bins is transported to the Center for Hard to Recycle Materials (CHaRM) in Atlanta for recycling. Bulky electronic devices that do not fit into the bins are taken to GSU Surplus Operations for resale or recycling. Please email recycle@gsu.edu for large e-waste pickup.

Ink/Toner Cartridges:

Printer cartridges are made with a combination of plastics, metals and ink, so there are a number of environmental and economic incentives for reuse or recycling. Reusing means toner cartridges are remanufactured and put back into circulation. Recycling means ink cartridges are reduced into scrap material and reformed into new items like pens and rulers.

Ink cartridge recycling bins can be found in the printer or mail room of most campus offices and departments. GSU Recycling is compiling a list of locations that will be posted to this page shortly.

Toner cartridges placed in these bins are shipped to Evolve Recycling for reuse and recycling.

Scrap Metal:

Scrap metal recycling is one of the oldest yet most prolific industries in the United States. The majority of the metal that ends up in finished products such as appliances, automobiles, tools and bridges has been recovered through recycling. As a result, scrap metal is one of the most profitable and highly sought-after materials in the current recycling markets.

All scrap metal collected by GSU Recycling is taken to M&M Waste for recycling.

Please email recycle@gsu.edu for scrap metal pickup.


The production of clothing, footwear, accessories, linens and other textiles is an extremely labor intensive and environmentally straining process. For the average cotton T-shirt, the locations where the materials are farmed, processed, sewed together and then finally sold to the consumer crisscross the globe and represent an unsustainable chain of production. Therefore, recycling worn out textiles conserves raw materials and natural resources, and donating unwanted textiles redistributes items to those who need them.

Appliances and Furniture:

As required by state law, all appliances and furniture purchased with state funds must go through Georgia State Surplus Operations. To schedule a collection, please complete this form.


Bulbs and ballasts are handled by the Georgia State Research and Environmental Safety Program. There are storage areas for bulbs and ballasts in every campus zone. Contact eprograms@gsu.edu for more information on the waste area in your zone.